Thursday, April 30, 2015

Guess who is 0 for his last 18, has dropped 44 points on his batting average and who still jogs to first, when he's not being tagged out for failing to know how many outs there are?

Hal "I'm not cheap" Steinbrenner May Not Have to Pay The "Willie Mays" Milestone Bonus !!

This is not a legal issue.

If you watched A-Rod yesterday, you can easily conclude that he is not going to hit any more home runs anywhere, anytime.

He reverted to the worst at-bats I have seen in years.  Throw a pitch well off the plate, in the dirt, and he'll flail away.  He looked like one of those movie stars who was given a couple of at-bats during a spring training game.  Hopeless and out of place.  You can't fake baseball.

So it is possible that the big moral dilemma (" to pay or not to pay if he hits 2 more home runs" ) will never come to pass.  For those who are unclear on this subject:

 Some years ago, the Yankees stupidly bid against themselves and lost, thereby re-signing A-Rod to the most outrageous contract of all humankind.  One of the clever "perks" the Yankees envisioned for themselves was that when A-Rod approached, and then surpassed certain milestones, it would boost Yankee interest, sell more tickets, add viewers and listeners, and even produce more bobble-head doll exchanges and auctions.  So, Brian Cashman cleverly built more financial incentives into A-Rod's ludicrous contract to insure his motivation and participation for achieving said milestones (e.g. player approval is required for bobblehead reproductions).

Flash forward; given the well publicized steroid issues with Mr. Rodriguez, and the resulting year-long suspension last season, some feel that the promotional value of A-Rod's next milestone ( surpassing Willie Mays in home runs ) has lost its edge.  Has lost a certain panache.  The marketing people at the stadium yesterday, for example, would not take my call when I made it clear I wished to discuss their view of the promotional value of A-Rod's next milestone and how they intended to honor it.

Some sportswriters claim that about 400 of A-Rod's home runs to date should not "count" ( due to steroids ) and, therefore, he is not approaching any meaningful milestone. So Hal ( " I am not cheap") Steinbrenner need not honor the Cashman contractual perk. In my view, any sports writer spending time on this subject is evidence of a really slow news period in sports.  It is the baseball equivalent of "mock drafts" in the NFL, which have been going on since the Super Bowl ended.

Anyone with a brain disagrees with that stupid notion.  The home runs are in the books.  They are hard to hit even if you are stoked on Mounds bars.  And multifarious records by A-Rod and others were built on steroids when, by the way, steroid use was legal.

So the real insight here, the basis for my entire rant, is that I saw A-Rod at the plate six times yesterday.  And, were I sitting in Hal's ( "I'm not cheap") mansion right now, I would be counting the milestone money I won't have to pay ( $6 million I believe ).

A-Rod looks done and dusted.

The Didi Dilemma: Why don't we have anybody to pinch hit?

Yesterday, in the tenth inning, this awful thing happened.

As you can see, the game was on the line. The Evils had two men on base, and up comes Didi Gregorius, who on a good day is batting over .200. In the dugout, the Yankees have Brett Gardner, Brian McCann and the increasingly irrelevant Garrett Jones. Earlier, they had pinch-hit Stephen Drew - for what reason I cannot instantly fathom. Thus, they have no one to play infield. So here you go, Mudville: Game on line, Didi at the bat. And he... pops it up.

Two innings later, this awful thing happens:
Listen: I realize that extra inning games stress a lineup. But how many pitchers do the Yankees need? It's a bullpen, Mr. Cashman, not a Cecil B. DeMille battle scene. And what's the good of having pinch-hitters if you can't use them for your worst batter?

The answer, of course, is Jose Pirela - the poor guy who a month ago hit the CF wall in Tampa like a bug on a windshield. Theoretically, in a Rob Refsnyder way, Pirela could play SS. He certainly can hit more than Didi. (Kate Upton can hit more than Didi.)

Final note: This is the retching of a fan after a game is lost. If somebody had homered, and the Yankees won, we wouldn't be going through this horrible self-flagelation. But it's also a sign of an unbalanced team. If we've learned anything thus far on the season, it is that Gregorius will be lucky to hit .240 - and he's more likely to finish near .200. If our game plan is to pinch hit Drew - batting .167 - well, good luck with that.

Swinnnnnnnnnng battah: The Yankees play 13 innings of failed home run derby

Yesterday in Baltimore, the Orioles played a game without fans.

Yesterday, in New York, the Yankees played a game with fans - 16 of them - also known as strikeouts. And they played without one situational hitter.

Seriously, does anybody here remember how to advance a runner? Twice in extra innings, the Yankees had none other than Jacoby Ellsbury and/or Brett Gardner standing on first with less than two outs. Neither ran. Nobody bunted. (Chris Young attempted a bunt, a pathetic foul pop-up, which was nearly caught.) Manufacture a run? Bah. That's for wimps. Nope. For a lucky 13 innings, Yankee hitters simply did what they always do: Swinnnnng away, O mighty oak tree! Didn't matter that the Rays stacked the entire state of Florida on one side of second base. Nope. The Bronx lions wanted a walk off HR. In their minds, each was the immortal Babe, or maybe the immortal A-Rod, looking to A-bomb the ghost of the immortal Willie.

Speaking of Alex... you probably know by now that he went 0 for six, fanned four times and hit into a game-ending DP. It was like watching his highlight reel from the 2004 ALCS against Boston. He's only been back a month, yet he's already rounding out into post-season form. Worst of all, the Yankees seem disturbingly close to being a team that depends on his bat. With Tex turning into Rob Deer - a HR or nothing - and Carlos Beltran being an interstellar Stargate to Hell, Alex still looks like the only guy capable of driving in 100 runs. Or at least he did... until yesterday.

Yesterday, here's how the Yankees scored. Chris Young homered. And Chase Headley homered. Both were solo shots. Both briefly roused the crowd from their cell phones. Both were followed by 45-minute long team naps. Sixteen strikeouts. Nothing to show. If Tampa hadn't scored, we'd still be playing.

Listen: The Empire is still 13-9, holder of the fourth best record in the AL. Let's be honest: If anybody had said we'd be in first on May 1, we'd have taken it. But the questions keep mounting. And highest on the list - even above the dubious fate of Masahiro - remains whether the Yankees can score a frickin run when it matters.

The O's played a game in Baltimore yesterday with no one there to watch. The opposite happened in the Bronx. The Yankees never showed up.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Hello darkness my old friend: Today, MLB will offer the Sounds of Silence

With all due respect to Masahiro Tanaka, this is the only story that matters today in Major League Baseball.

Nobody will watch, as Baltimore hosts Chicago... as a way of maintaining public safety.

A-Rod's next HR may cost Hal twice the $6 million milestone bonus

Yep. It might be $12 million. That's because A-Rod's bonus will be added to the team's payroll count, which means Hal faces luxury tax - a double whammy.

I wish MLB owners liked paying U.S. taxes as much as they enjoy taxing big market teams.

If the U.S. Supreme Court says that no caps should be placed on the right of billionaires' to make political contributions - affecting the basis of our democracy - shouldn't something as unimportant as spending on a baseball team also go unlimited?

Last time I looked, people didn't die because the wrong team won the World Series.

In Donald Rumsfeldian vernacular, yesterday's Tanaka revelation was a known unknown. Trouble is, there are more to come

Today, the Albert Gore Memorial Interweb is filled with heartfelt shouts of "I-told-you-so."

Pedro Martinez was quick to announce his. My favorite color man, Dr. C. Montague Schilling, will soon add his to the pile. Surely, Mt. Alphonso will erupt. The Right Reverend Lupica and Pope Madden are writing their sermons. The next 24 hours will supply Yankee fans with the kind of seething rage normally associated with Uncle Cooter's afternoon of listening to Rush Limbaugh. Cue the CNN news crawl, Mr. Blitzer.

As you know, yesterday, the worst thing that could happen... happened.

Masahiro Tanaka's arm started barking.

You don't need to be Chicken Little to see the purple sky. Tanaka will miss all of May. He'll rehab in Tampa, then Scranton. A million eyes will watch the circus. He'll get back to NYC, pitch a few games, and then... who knows? Maybe he'll last the season. Maybe not. Eventually, they will cut him, and a 16-month rehab clock will begin... ushering in a new round "I-told-you-so"s. The only question is whether next time, C. Montague Schilling will beat Pedro to the punch.

Before continuing, let me state for the record that I do not blame Brian Cashman. The Yankees had to follow the advice of their doctors. You don't just cut a guy for the hell of it. Trouble is, everyone knew this would happen; the question was when. It was, as old Donald Rumsfeld would say, a known unknown... something we knew that we didn't know. And it's not the only one on the 2015 Yankees.

2015 Yankee Yankee Known Unknowns:

1. A-Rod's hips.
2. Tex's wrist.
3. Beltran. Everything about him.
4. Pineda's shoulder.
5. Gardner's/Ellsbury's always tweakable muscles.
6. The inability of certain hitters to cope with over-shifts.
7. Didi Gregorius' doe-eyed entry into NY cauldron.
8. The entire AL East.

I could go on, but you get the picture. Since spring training, the Yankees have been lugging a bus full of question marks. A nice April spackled-over a few holes. Between now and September, we'll need dry wall.

But as old Rummy once said: Our real concern is not the known unknowns, but the unknown unknowns - the things we don't even know that we don't know.

They are tougher to list. By definition, they are impossible to list. Still, here are a few, offered as a parlor game. I invite you to add others, as your imaginations see fit.

2015 Yankee Unknown Unknowns

1. A wunderkind from the farm. Not Refsnyder, not Judge, not Severino - somebody whose name is not now on our tongues. It's most likely a pitcher, who soars Joba-like through the system, throwing 98 mph with no sense of mortality. We haven't had one in a while.

2. An NYC police shooting or terrorist attack. I don't want to be maudlin here, but - hey - things can change in a hurry, and the Yankees can become symbols of hope - or despair. 

3. A bean ball or come-back line-drive takes a healthy player out of commission, maybe threatens a career. This can rally or devastate the team.

4. Somebody with a choir-boy reputation in a sex scandal. (If it can happen to Cashman, it can happen to anybody.)

5. Juicing allegations.

Keep in mind, these unknown unknowns spin both ways. Some of them can help the Yankees. Adversity isn't always adverse. Thus, let's not forget the ultimate unknown unknown from yesterday's news:

How will Tanaka's injury affect the rest of the team?

Does it open a slot for Bryan Mitchell? Does it rally teammates to do something, or convince Girardi to make somebody into a starter? Does it push a hot poker up Hal Steinbrenner's butt to sign the 19-year-old Cuban pitcher (or make Hal clutch his purse even harder?)

Today, the Yankiverse is full of "I-told-you-so"s. But what will tomorrow bring?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


Happiest man in New York last night: Hal Steinbrenner

He didn't have to see Alex Rodriguez homer in Yankee Stadium.

If it's hit on the road, Hal can just pretend it never happened!

Yankee ingenuity.

New Gammonite story line: Innocent and pure Josh Hamilton was destroyed by conniving succubus

The world according to sportswriters...

He never wanted to leave Texas. This is where he belonged. This is the place that understood him. He could have his troubles, daily issues, and they adapted to him.
Yet, once he chased the money, letting his wife follow her dreams with talks of a Hollywood movie and a deal to be on the "Real Housewives of Orange County,'' his comfort zone dissipated.
It was never going to work.

He ain't heavy, he's my Beltran...

His welfare is my concern,
No burden is he,
To bear,
We'll get there...

The Yankees are leading the American League East. If the season ended Friday - instead of the month of April - we would be bushy-tailed and playoff-bound.

A-Rod would be chasing the MLB Comeback of the Year. Michael Pineda could challenge for the Cy Young. And Brian Cashman would be the clear choice as MLB Executive of the Year -- "the genius who signed Chris Young." 

Unfortunately, the Yankees' fabled "Twin Trowels" - Carlos Beltran and Stephen Drew - would still be walloping a combined .173.

Thus far, they are the 2015 versions of Alphonso Soriano and Brian Roberts - the modern Yankee tradition of waiting for old and expensive parts to wear out. Pretend it's just a slump, and go about faithfully lugging them like cannon balls up a hill.

Of course, based on their long and distinguished careers as humanitarians, both Beltran and Drew deserve a test drive through the month of May. It's too early to cut bait. Besides, there's nobody else to run out there. In Scranton, Rob Refsnyder has fallen apart; his fielding at 2B has regressed from "poor" to "Knoblachian." Concussion-recovering Jose Pierla may still be hearing dog whistles. And in the outfield, we're relying on Chris Young to keep hitting... knowing that he barely hit his weight last year as a Met.

Last night, both Beltran and Drew came through - sort of. Beltran went 1 for 4, and you'd think he hit for the cycle, the way the YES-SIR Networkers warbled glee. Drew got two hits but made a horrible error that, at the time, let Tampa tie the game. More frustratingly, Drew continues to pull the ball directly into the over-shift. It's one thing to see Mark Teixeira and Brian McCann flailing at a stacked defense. It's another when you're a modest slugging infielder who hasn't hit .200 in a year. I never thought someone could make Gregorio Petit look so good.

But hey, we're in first. For now, they ain't heavy. The road is long, with many a winding turn, that leads us to who knows where, who knows when? Well, actually,  we do know when: The trading deadline ought to do it.

Oh, those delightful, madcap, laugh-a-minute Met fans

The old hidden boat trick. (Via Reddit:)

Monday, April 27, 2015

The big bad Redsocks have absolutely no pitching, and Mookie Betts might be Jackie Bradley III

Gems from Gordon Edes:

For the second time in four starts Sunday, left-hander Wade Miley failed to last the third inning, driven from the mound in an 18-7 loss to the Baltimore Orioles after allowing as many runs (seven) as he registered outs. That’s the second time that has happened to Miley in just 11 days.

One month into his American League incarnation, and Miley already is assured of the worst month of his career (8.62 ERA), hardly what Sox GM Ben Cherington envisioned when he traded for the 28-year-old left-hander, then signed him to a three-year, $19.25 million contract extension before he’d thrown his first pitch for Boston.

Meanwhile, Mookie Betts is hitting .189 - Didi and Drew territory.

Last night, some faceless Yankee and Met p.r. lug nuts fought their own Subway Series

After all, the Subway motto is "Tweet Fresh." (Via Reddit) 

Ouch. Stings like Grandy grounder.

Just as the Yankees are rising, Shallow Hal decides to play chicken

Last night on ESPN, the comedy duo of Kruky and Schill absolutely killed. Barack Obama must be writing their stuff. Their funniest bit was a dead-on satire of U.S. politics, based on the Yankees' refusal to pay Alex Rodriguez a $6 million bonus for his upcoming 660th HR, which will tie A-Rod with the immortal Willie Mays.

In the skit, John Kruk and Curt Schilling - (I get them mixed up, like Laurel and Hardy) - argued about the milestone controversy, concluding that, "Both sides are at fault." It was a hilarious whack at mainstream media pundits, who cannot report corruption or hypocrisy without always spinelessly adding, "Both sides do it." In this case, Schill questioned the wisdom of creating a wedge issue between a franchise and its cleanup hitter - (of course, he didn't mention Hal Steinbrenner by name) - by being chintzy. (He didn't use the word "chintzy.")

Schill's surprising conclusion: Both sides are a fault! And why? Because A-Rod surely doesn't need the money! Seriously... Cheerios were coming out of my nose. Yes, A-Rod is rich, but at least he earned his fortune, which Hal possessed at age 6 months. Hal is a billionaire - "B" - and yet it's A-Rod who doesn't need the money? Hilarious. Both sides are at fault. I'm still slapping my knees. Where have you gone, Brian Williams? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you...

At one magical point, somebody - at first, I thought it was Schill - said, "Now, I don't want to spend somebody else's money..." What a line, considering that's exactly what Schilling did three years ago to the taxpayers of Rhode Island - go night-clubbing with $75 million of their money. I was going to post it, but then I thought it might have been Kruk who said the line. You get them confused, like Hall and Oates.

(NOTE: I may be getting soft. but these days, Curt Schilling seems more deferential to the Yankees than the stooges on YES. Last night, as he spoke about loving to play in NYC, despite being so hated, I found myself actually liking the guy. There... I said it. I like the guy. I think we need to refile Schilling into the dung heap category of, say, Donald Rumsfeld: Up close, he is a mirthful old goofball who, if he lived next door, would happily fix your mower. The problems only start when somebody gives him nukes and an army. In the ESPN booth, Schilling is a lovable Gomer. As long as he's not angling for the U.S. Senate - which sadly, he was once - maybe he deserves a pass?)

Ah, but back to my hatchet...

I hope A-Rod hits his milestone HR this week. I hope the Yankee Stadium crowd stands and cheers. I hope the ovation goes long and stops the game. I hope they call him out of the dugout. And I hope that Hal "I'm Not Cheap" Steinbrenner - sitting somewhere in his bubble bath - realizes that he could have sold $39.99 dirt from the event, had he not been so busy collecting nickel deposits from the clubhouse Pepsi cans.

Yes, A-Rod is the devil. But Hal owns the "Evil Empire." Both sides suck, but not equally. One is an idiot, and the other has committed the unspeakable crime: Being cheap. That's Hal. He's cheap, cheap, cheap. Hey, maybe Kruky and Schill can launch a barnyard bit!

UPDATE: This came in via sburbank. (Thanks!)

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Famed Yankee fan Tea Leoni makes scene with Washington dickwads

Keeping tabs on this, so you don't have to.

Tea Leoni is a huge Yankee fan. Don't know about her boyfriend.

(I wonder what she thinks of Refsnyder's slow start at Scranton?)

I Say We All Grow Mustaches. Hear Me Out.

It would be a show of support. For the Yankees! And it wouldn't cost anything, or require any special effort the Yankees haven't earned and aren't likely to for the next several years!




JOHN M: Let's do this!
ALPHONSO: Let's do this!
EL DUQUE: Let's do this!
I'M BILL WHITE: Let's do this!
KD: Let's do this!
WHITEY FRAUD: Let's do this!
BERNBABYBERN: Let's do this!
BIG BANG: Let's do this!
ALIBI IKE: Let's do this!
MICHAEL KEI: Let's do this!
WAILIN' SUZYN: Let's do this!
WHITEY FRAUD: Let's do this!
YANKEE SHAMUS: Let's do this!
DADLAK: Let's do this!
ANONYMOUS: Let's do this!
ALL YOU COMMENTERS: Let's do this!
ALL YOU LURKERS: Let's do this!
ALL YOU MEN: Let's do this!
ALL YOU WOMEN: Let's do this!


A long, hot spring in Baltimore

I try to avoid reality. Who needs it? Pttuui. Baseball is supposed to give comfort, Yankee dominance and escape from the real world. Also, it used to be cheaper than Oxycodone. But yesterday in Baltimore, Reality beat Escapism by a score of 14-0.

Fans at the O's-Redsocks game couldn't leave the park, because Camden Yards was surrounded by people fighting. Check out these haunting images of "violent protesters" confronting "bar patrons" (Fox descriptions) outside the park. Imagine coming out of a stadium, two sheets to the wind, and walking through a riot on way to your car.

I try to avoid politics. What do I know? Nothing more than you. That said, here goes: I'm tired of cops shooting people. Every fricking police force in America should know by now that it's happening way too often. I don't know how a guy mistakes his gun for his taser. I don't know why a guy shoots somebody running from his car - five times in the back. I don't know how anyone explains a guy getting carried into a police van and 30 minutes later coming out with a broken neck. The cops always close ranks, and the courts will still back any thug who never should have been issued a badge and a gun. It's going to be a long, hot summer  spring in Baltimore, and yesterday, Reality came to a boil right on Escapism's doorstep.


Yankeetorial: At last, the Evil Empire is growing freedom staches


At last, we are joining the new Millennium.

A courageous group of 2015 Yankees is actually joining the modern era and testing the limits of human rights. They are attempting to grow adult mustaches, and by the reaction from the media, you would think Nelson Mandela was penning verses of poetry from the cages of Robben Island. This for a fashion statement that, technically, was never been banned by the baby-faced Yankee overlords.

Three years ago, the beard craze swept through MLB - remember the Redsocks, before the collapse? - yet the Yankees kept their noses follicle-free, preferring to look - and play like dorky Explorer Scouts.

At last, maybe they're showing spine. Or sprig.

I recognize that many of you support the Yankee ban on facial hair. You want Yankees to look like Rhea Perlman. Trouble is, they hit like Rhea Perlman. It's long overdue for the Evils to field a lineup that actually looks a bit evil - I'm talking about grungy, muskrat-chinned boils of testosterone.

It's time for handlebars and push-brooms, Fu-Manchoos and walruses, (coo-coo-cachoo.) No pennant was ever won in the shaving mirror.

Today, Brett Gardner's face furniture is the Jackie Robinson of Yankee upper-lips. Gardy is going bardy. Teixeira is sending a tress message. Who knows... we might even see a shave bomb... from A-Rod.

Let my people grow.

How I am starting to feel

Saturday, April 25, 2015

One Quick Question

How many games will we lose this year because Joe-bot must leave CC in no matter how obviously he happens to be sucking?

a)  5
b)  10
c)  More than 10
d) How many starts does the big guy have left?

Let's see the Post and Daily News figure out how to spin this

A-Rod did something nice.

He must be juicing again, right Mr. Lupica?

If Tex Is Really Back... the Poem

If only we can beat the Mets,
If Boston loses Mookie Betts,
If A-Rod somehow hits a bunch,
And Carlos Beltran earns his lunch...
Our team could finish in the black,
Not wither at the warning track.
We'd actually have a bold attack...
If Tex is really back.

If C.C. salves the wounds of time,
If Didi turns out worth a dime,
If Headley brings a few clutch blasts,
And Masahiro's elbow lasts...
Then we can add another plaque,
And dance like Strahan with a sack,
No cleanup slugger will we lack...
If Tex is really back.

Ah, but dreams! they're known to drift,
Like fielders in an over-shift,
And spring's a time to see rebirth,
But fall is when teams rule the earth.
Let's savor every vict'ry snack,
And cheer his every home run whack,
We'll all be high, like smoking crack...
If Tex is really back.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Viewing Hours

The New York Yankees (nee Highlanders) will pass away quietly at home this weekend. 

The team, originally a native of Baltimore, has lived in the Bronx for many years, with the exception of 1903-1922, when they lived in Manhattan and two years in the mid-1970s when they resided in Queens.

In lieu of flowers, fans are asked to donate to the Steinbrenner Brothers Poverty Fund for Billionaires, or to attend a game and spend several hundred dollars on tickets and drinks.

Viewing hours are below. 

RHP Michael Pineda (2-0, 5.00)
RHP Jacob deGrom (2-1, 0.93)
7:05 p.m., YES Network and MLB Network
LHP CC Sabathia (0-3, 4.35)
RHP Matt Harvey (3-0, 3.50)
4:05 p.m., WPIX and FOX Sports 1
RHP Nathan Eovaldi (1-0, 3.12)
LHP Jon Niese (2-0, 1.50)
8:05 p.m., ESPN

Altogether now, Yankiverse: Set your Juju Tazers on "10:" There is NO WAY we can win tonight. There is NO WAY we can win tonight. There is NO WAY we can win tonight. There is NO WAY we can win tonight...

There is NO WAY we can win tonight. There is NO WAY we can win tonight. There is NO WAY we can win tonight. There is NO WAY we can win tonight. There is NO WAY we can win tonight. There is NO WAY we can win tonight. There is NO WAY we can win tonight. There is NO WAY we can win tonight. There is NO WAY we can win tonight. There is NO WAY we can win tonight. There is NO WAY we can win tonight. There is NO WAY we can win tonight. There is NO WAY we can win tonight. There is NO WAY we can win tonight. There is NO WAY we can win tonight.

Damn. Those Mets are incredible.

Lying Low

It just seemed the right move.  Don't say anything as long as the Yankees were playing well against Detroit.  Don't post anything.  No rocking the boat.

Let me say that again;  against Detroit.  The line-up which prompted CC Sabathia to declare, " that lineup should be illegal."

It is a line he used to say about the Yankees, when he was with Cleveland.  Just after the end of the civil war, when George was running things.

No one says that about the Yankee lineup now.  I still can only name two guys in the bullpen.  Everyone else, it seems, is named Wilson ( a horrid name amongst Giants' fans ).

In any case, the Yankees now move from the snow belt back to the frost belt of Yankee stadium.  We have no chance of beating Matt Harvey tomorrow, so tonight is the moment.  We need a, " David Price," first inning against the Mets' starter.  60 pitches and 8 runs should do it.

I will look in my Ju-Ju jar for some old favorites.

 But Duque ( as usual ) is right.  This series is for hearts and minds.

Interesting still-shot from last night's Royals game

That's Adam Eaton on the right, going after Chicago's Jesse Ventura. Wait... no... Robin Ventura... 

Talk about bringing fans back to the game...

Kansas City has now fought with practically every team they've faced this season.

I've always believed that, in order to boost MLB ratings, the owners should enact one basic rule change: In the time that a runner occupies a base, he must constantly fight the baseman.

The Yankees don't see KC until May 15. 

Time to take classes in martial arts.

Will this weekend's Subway Series mark NYC's official changing of the guard?

For the last decade, "number 2" signified Yankee greatness, as it graced the hallowed jersey of Derek Jeter.

Starting tonight, "2" might define the team's place in New York - maybe for the next decade.

Statistically and realistically, the Subway Series cannot ruin the Yankees' 2015 season beyond three games. Three and out. That's all. The Yanks could botch all three, and then next week sweep the fumbling Tampa Rays and return to normalcy - that mythical location along the .500 parallel. 

Statistically and realistically, these games are a fart in the wind storm. It's still April. I speeeet on you who slobber hyperbole upon the Yankiverse. Pttuui. Statistically and realistically, the next three games do not matter.

But psychically and spiritually - well, that's a different story. This weekend could define the pecking order of NYC, where the tipping point is perilously close

It's like those Oklahoma earthquakes, which the political oil cans were denying for years. Suddenly, the ground is shaky, and everybody is saying aloud what they knew all along: You frack with nature, and you better know what you're doing. The Yankees have been fracking themselves for five years. It's still not clear what they are doing.

It's been years since the Evil Empire dominated the American League. That ship sailed in the Collapse of 2004, still the most defining Yankee event in this Millennium. And whatever prideful attitude once remained, it dripped down the chin of Owner Hal Steinbrenner two months ago, when the "I'm Not Cheap" son of George pitifully couldn't outbid Boston for Yoan Moncada. 

Still, the Yankees owned NYC... at least until this weekend.

Today's NY Times says Yankee TV viewership has tumbled by 21 percent - one in five fans has jumped ship - while Met ratings are dramatically rising. That huge Yankee TV advantage has vanished like a 10-point Knicks lead. The two teams' ratings are nearly equal. Then again, one franchise is sky-rocketing, while the other is drilling injection wells into the ground. This isn't about just 2015. It's about a decade when the earth is going to shake.

In today's NY Post, some guy named "Howie" - (at last, a true Post byline name!) -  lists 10 story lines for the Subway Series. Yatta-yatta-yatta. There is only one story, and it is that the Yankees could emerge from this weekend as NY's second team. Realistically and statistically, it's just thre games. But in the ways that matter, it may be the end of an era.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

I Wish This Happened During One Of Steve Balboni's 4 Triples As A Yankee

Too bad.

Redsocks to delay retiring Mookie Betts' number, enshrinement into Cooperstown, awarding of Nobel Peace Prize

Mr. Bosox is batting .203.

The next Jackie Bradley Jr.?

Two games over .500

A half-game behind Boston for the AL East.

Lead for the away-team Wild Card slot.

Tanaka pitching well.

Bullpen looking solid.

Took three out of four from best record team in AL.

A-Rod gets day off in cold.

No major injuries.

Mets on deck.

Pinch me.

In Honor of Shakespeare's Birthday.....

Dust off your Norton Anthologies, kids, and enjoy a sonnet for Reds manager Bryan Price:

Well, Shucks
by RJ Lesch

Here’s Bryan Price, his Reds down on their luck.
With injuries his players have been hit.
As manager, he sure would like to duck
His duties as a spokesman, and to sit

upon the news of who could play, and tuck
away the players who could not. But it
is not an option nowadays. No truck
is had with silence on such things. To wit,

reporters and their readers want to pluck
from every minute's stream the latest bit
of news. And if it hurts the team? Tough. Suck
it up. And Reds' opponents benefit.

I guess he thinks he'd had enough with schmucks.
And so Price vents, and Rosecrans "tsks" and clucks.

Found, a new way to make Yankee fans weep

The question on Reddit:

What's the greatest stolen base of all time?

The answer:

Another chance to beat up on the Yankees.

Highlights of gala Yankee ceremonies planned for Alex Rodriguez's milestone 660th home run

A-Rod is just two home runs from tying Willie Mays for fourth place on baseball's all-time HR list, and when the moment arrives, the Yankees plan to throw out all the stops, with an incredible Big Apple celebration. Some of the highlights:

1. After launching the blast, A-Rod will circle the bases, touching each one and finally placing a toe upon home plate, signifying the scoring of a run.

2. The Yankee Stadium scoreboard will pay special tribute to A-Rod's achievement by adding the run - and/or others that were driven in - to the official team total. 

3. In special ceremonies, the crew chief umpire will step out from behind the catcher and use his broom to clean off the plate where A-Rod's cleats may have left sprigs of dirt.

4. To commemorate the moment, the Yankee Stadium p.a. system will announce the batter who immediately follows A-Rod, so that batter can step to the plate and receive a pitch.

5. A-Rod will receive - at great expense to the Steinbrenner family and trust - gifts of free bottled water and towels (which will be returned at end of game.)

6. The YES Network will pay homage to A-Rod's achievement by replaying the HR on YES-MO, while David Cone describes ways that players can get incredibly drunk following a big day.

7. John Sterling, the legendary Radio Voice of the Yankees, will unveil a special call for the occasion: "It's a A-Bomb from Geiko, where 15-minutes can save you big on car insurance!" 

8. A moment of silence will be held across Yankee Stadium, while lawyers from the team, from A-Rod and from the MLB Players Union exchange legal briefs.

9. Fans will break into spontaneous chants of "Let's Go Mets."

10. The NY Post and Daily News will unveil special keepsake commemorative front pages, showing artists renditions of A-Rod peeing on the wall of his cousin's house.

11. ESPN will break into its coverage of the Women's Topless Poker Tour, so commentator Curt Schilling can weep about the loss of role models in America.

12. Yankee GM Brian Cashman, accompanied by team president Randy Levine, will place a ceremonial live rattlesnake in A-Rod's locker.

"The Yankees seem to have never met a moment they could not monetize. They scooped up the infield dirt from the game in which Derek Jeter recorded his 3,000th hit and put it in capsules that dangled from key chains. They offered a bullpen rubber from one of Mariano Rivera’s last games for $15,000. When the old Yankee Stadium closed, it was sold off brick by Monument Park brick. When the Yankees drifted from contention last year, they held a Derek Jeter Day more than three weeks before the end of the season as a way to ensure another packed house. If there were a World Series for cashing in on marketing opportunities, the Yankees would be perpetual participants. All of which makes their stance toward Alex Rodriguez curious."

Billy Witz - the NY Times writer with the NY Post byline name - pens the Gray Lady's most delicious sports lead yet this season... an appreciation of Hal "I'm Not Cheap" Steinbrenner's tight-wadded former reign as the chief cashier of NYC sports.

(Question: How is it that a guy named George A. King III writes for the Murdochian Post, while Billy Witz works at the Times?)

Famed Redsock fan has slave-owner blood

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Bernie to retire Friday; what's keeping Beltran?

The battle for ink in NYC is so bleak that the Yankees are now staging rank publicity stunts to capture attention. What's next? Hal Steinbrenner wearing dresses? Suzyn dating Kanye? Those back page headlines don't write themselves.

Friday, Bernie Williams will step to the podium and announce his retirement. Not from music. From baseball. It's a joke, get it? Bernie has never officially announced his retirement. So Friday, he will. Cue the laugh track, everybody. The Yankees are chasing a headline.

Right now, the Yankees are a .500 team in a sports universe where .500 is the absolute worst place to be. To go anywhere, a franchise needs to be really good... or really bad. To be middle of the pack means finishing three games out of the away-game Wild Card niche, and then losing next summer's first-round draft pick because you signed Carlos Beltran. It doesn't get any worse than to be .500. Ask the Redsocks. 

Bernie will retire Friday. 

If only it could be Hal.

Ten points that prove we live in an insane Yankiverse

1. Only four AL teams have winning records.

2, The Yankees' best player is Chris Young.

3. Baseball's two best teams are in the AL Central.

4. A .500 team may qualify for the post-season.

5. Baseball's best pitcher is Shane Green.

6. The Yankees have yet to suffer a critical injury.

7. Paul O'Neill - who devours every foodstuff in the press box and routinely asks questions such as "Anybody know when the Yankees started wearing numbers?" - (Note: He doesn't know) - is the best reason to watch YES. (Second place: David Cone making subtle references to his rock star partying days.)

8. The Mets are the NL's best team.

9. The Astros could win their division.

10. Cheapo Hal Steinbrenner is running around, denying that he's cheap. But he is.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Deadly Spinners, creators of the "John Sterling Win-Warble Song," reincarnated in new band



The Best The Yankees Can Do

I am still stuck using an I-pad, so the visual I had in mind will have to remain a mystery.

Yesterday, in Detroit, CC pitched as well as he will pitch all year, against the best hitting team in baseball.

The sad truth is that the real offense showed up for the Yankees, as well.  Tino's solo HR looked like an accident.  No one, including Tino, thought he hit it out.  It was as if a magical gust of wind gave the ball an extra twenty feet.

But no one else did a thing.  A couple of deep fly balls.  Many, many strike outs.  Generally, we saw a team that will do little against quality pitching.  Without walks, errors, and poor defensive decisions to assist them, our offense is 1-2 runs a game.

It is what it is.  Boring.

We are back in the cellar.

A-Rod's latest crime: Surgery

A cheater to the end. He'll do anything to ruin our pristine game.

Will Hal Steinbrenner now ignore the "pitching version of Yoan Moncada?"

Listen carefully around the owner's box in Yankee Stadium, and you'll wonder if a certain somebody hasn't hatched a box of Easter chicks. Everyone, you'll hear the cute little sounds, "Cheep, cheep, cheep..."

It must be the squeaky shoes of Hal "I'm Not Cheap" Steinbrenner, the business-minded scion of a family that needs both sets of fingers to count its billions. "I'm Not Cheap" earned his nickname two months ago, when he pulled up lame in the auction for Yoan Moncada, allowing the Redsocks to buy the 19-year-old Cuban infielder. Hal showed the designer lapels of his trash bag raincoat and assured the Yankiverse that he's not cheap. Ever since, the sound has been echoing... cheep, cheep, cheep...

But the Yankee brain trust has made critical changes. Since the Moncada fiasco, the Yankees have removed from the masthead Felix M. Lopez, the Cuban-born husband of Jessica Steinbrenner, who remains one of the thousand vice presidents of the team. (Just keeeding, there are actually only 16.) A recent column by the Daily News' Bill Madden  - (in which he somewhat offensively nicknames Lopez "The Gardener;" does anybody proof those columns?) - claimed the Yankees blame Lopez for losing Moncada. Apparently, he botched the negotiations. "I'm Not Cheap"s unwillingness to spend an extra $5 million had nothing to do with it.

(FUN FACT: Felix Lopez is a member of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Florida, and Nobles of the Mystic Shrine of North America!)

Oh, well... who cares? There's a new Moncada on the market, a pitching version! His name is Yadier Alvarez, and he's 19, and the odds are that he will soon clear MLB contract standards, meaning the Retrieval Empire can bid on him. (After July 2, "I'm Not Cheap" will be banned from bidding wars over international talent for the next two years. Hal will be heaven! Nobody will be able to complain!)

The Dodgers are said to be most active in the pursuit of Alvarez. The above article does not mention the Yankees. Of course, with "I'm Not Cheap" at the helm, why would anybody bother? I wonder what the next set of excuses will be?

Monday, April 20, 2015

Are the Tampa Rays in Collapse Mode? Because in MLB's new reality, that's how teams build

It's been a while since the Yankees owned Tampa. You could say it's been seven years - since Evan Longoria arrived on the scene. Before Longoria, the Devil Rays were lovable Yankee patsies, a stream of Jorge Cantus and Rocco Baldellis. Around 2008, they became a contender, thanks to Longoria and a seemingly endless line of young pitchers, most of them top picks in the MLB draft.

This weekend, they looked like the Hell-bound Rays of olden times at the hands of the mighty Retrieval Empire. It's too soon to call the 2015 season. But in MLB's new fiscal reality, to grow into a contender, a franchise needs to be terrible, awful, horrible for at least a year - and preferably several. Here's looking at you, Houston Astros.

To build a team, you must suck. Come in dead last. It took a while, but the Washington Nationals did it. So did the KC Royals. This could be the year of the Mariners and Padres - even the Pirates, Mets and Marlins. And let's not forget the Kings of Collapse - the Roller Coaster Redsocks, whose yard sale last year kicked their fans in the nuts - but who now look smart, because they grasp the new reality.

To build a team, you must suck.

Look at the poor Toronto Blue Jays, who have steadily fielded decent lineups, with nothing to show. If only the Jays had collapsed, rather than trying to win each year in a tough division, Toronto might have a ring. They just perpetually finish around .500, the ultimate curse of Wild Card contenders. Whatever you do, don't come in third. There's nothing there.

So should we rejoice over Bud Selig's final gift to his fellow Lords of Baseball. The owners have always envied the NFL for its parity, its cheap talent feeder system, its payroll caps... and most all, its lack of a New York Yankees.

Once upon a time, the Yanks beat the MLB reality with money. They bought pennants. (They did this because other owners were happy to sell them.) They still could do that, I suppose - the Dodgers are trying - but it means paying high "luxury" taxes, and that takes the fun out of it.

So the burning question is 2015 is this:

Will the Yankees allow themselves to suck? When the time comes, will they let this team collapse?

We won't know until the trade deadline. That's when Hal "I'm Not Cheap" Steinbrenner will either deal young prospects for horrible, terrible, long term contracts... or try to shed some of his own horrible, terrible long-term bloat on other teams. Will the Yankees try to float their old and creaky ship? Because this weekend, they got a glimpse of what happens when a team is on the wrong side of that talent curve. Evan Longoria looks old. Tampa might be returning to the Devil.

Sunday, April 19, 2015


Wild Card Standings 

Signs of ancient alien civilization found in Wrigley Field ivy

Does this prove the Cubs are not alone in this universe?

Hero Giants fan restores faith in humanity

Last night's Yankee hero pays the price

It wasn't pretty. In the end, it never is. Balfour was always on the verge of being a Yankee. Wouldn't be surprised if Cashman signs him.

A suicide mission for the Yankiverse: Let's elect the disgraceful, horrible A-Rod to the 2015 All-Star Game

Imagine the boos. They fill Cinncinati. Shoot, they'll probably echo all the way to Cleveland.

Alex Rodriguez would be the hottest poker shoved up Cincy's wazoo since Robert Mapplethorpe printed pictures of - well - hot pokers and wazoos.

Imagine the hysterics... Mike Lupica would be incensed. Bob Costas would cry. Curt Schilling - dear God - he'd pop a gonad and refuse to take part in the broadcast. The game would demean the pristine, Redsockian America that Curt so cherishes. A known liar and cheat would have been voted to the All-Star game by, ugh, voters - yes, the same bootless and unhorsed thugs who put Comrade Barack in the White House, the ones who want to take away guns... simply because that national disgrace and bobblehead whipping mule, A-Rod, somehow returned with a pair of surgically reconstructed hips, pushing age 40, and can hit.

Imagine A-Rod in - ugh, Calgon Bath Beads, take me away - the All-Star Game.

O, the humanity.

My guess is when the MLB All-Star ballots soon come out, the name Alex Rodriguez won't be on them. The lords of the game - aka, the best arguments ever assembled for higher estate taxes - will claim it was an honest mistake: They read Bill Madden's columns and were assured that Alex would never again play for the Yankees.

But what if the collective power of the Yankiverse - an "empire" than might be quiet over the next few Octobers - somehow voted A-Rod onto the team?

Don't get me wrong. He'd have to earn it. Nobody will vote him anything without at least 20 HRs and 50 RBIs by late June. But by jove, Alex is doing it, the world is astonished, his critics are sweating, and folks... it might soon be time for us to make a stand.

The  2015 All-Star Game.
Vote: An A-Bomb from A-Rod.

Saturday, April 18, 2015


Fenway boob grab

Oh, well, it's just words: A-Rod's disgraceful former future, as predicted by Bill Madden

Over the last three years - the Trashing of A-Rod Era - no one has carried more water for the Yankee ownership than the Daily News' Bill Madden. He is the Gunga Din of sportswriters.

Today, following Alex Rodriguez's two-HR performance last night, saving the Yankees from another horrible defeat, let's take a wonder cruise through some of The Bard of BS's greatest hits.

Here's Gunga's ripper piece from last November.

... nobody expects A-Rod to be able to play next season. But as long as he’s in Yankee pinstripes and part of the team, like it or not, he’s the Yankee brand — the big elephant in the room... I have a suggestion for what the skipper’s first question to the Comeback Kid might be: “Did you really pee on that woman’s wall?”

You can practically feel the gin fumes exploding from his pores. Of course, Madden has been assuring everyone of A-Rod's physical collapse for years. Here's one from July 2013.

It is now a frantic footrace with the MLB drug posse for Alex Rodriguez, who will never play another game for the Yankees but is desperately trying to make sure he doesn’t lose a penny of the $100 million owed him on the last 4½ years of his contract... A-Rod has to know he’s never going to be remotely close to the player he once was,... The sooner he goes away — for good — the better off everyone, including A-Rod, will be.

That year, Madden was on a roll.

... the most hated man in baseball, a man depicted as a serial drug cheat at war with his own team. Rodriguez has hired so many lawyers in his case against baseball that one camp doesn’t know what the other camp is doing. And when it is all over, he is very likely to have spent more money on lawyers than he loses from any suspension, however long it may be.

OK, one final blast from 2013.

“It’s all about him getting his money and not losing it to suspension,” one source close to the situation told the Daily News. “He knows he’s never going to the Hall of Fame. All that’s left for him is to make sure he gets his money — all of it.” One way to do that is for Rodriguez to return to game action, find he can no longer perform up to his standards, then retire before he’s hit with a suspension without pay. 

Two years ago, Subway Squawkers did a great job of chronicling Madden's hate obsession over A-Rod. One gem: Writer Lisa Swan noted that the Daily News' back page blasted A-Rod's "evil plan" - attempting a comeback, and wanting to be paid - on the same day Aaron Hernandez was indicted for murder. 


Friday, April 17, 2015

There Is Panic In The Yankee Suite

My Mac is corrupted at the moment, so I can only post words on this I - pad.

The Yankees are already talking about throwing in the towel on Refsnyder ( who fields like Nunez......don't all of our young infielders?), and trading the farm for a Braves AAA second baseman.

Maybe he'll be as helpful in a few years as McCann.  The talk is we dump Refsnyder, Pirela and
 Sanchez.  The only thing is: the Braves want Sevarino, too.  What a bargain.

And, with luck, we'll get another bozo of Didi's quality.

So Joe is now saying, " let's keep in mind, Didi's is starting at 25......"  Yeah.  So what?  I can point out a pouch full of mlb players who are starting much younger than that and playing like professionals.

In the end.  This is all Cashman's fault.  His terrible scouts, incompetent talent evaluators, the coaches who cannot develop skills in players.  It is all on him.

All eyes on big May 22 match-up, when Yankees take on the Rangers

It might just be the next time the Retrieval Empire plays a team with a worse record.

After this weeked with the Rays, we go:

Tigers, Mets, Rays, Redsocks, Blue Jays, Orioles, Rays, Royals, Nationals... and then the Rangers.

In the old, Torre days, the Yankees would get off to a bad start and then feast on KC, Cleveland, Toronto, et al. Right now, I'm not even sure we stack up well against the Astros (at least for another year.)